The Congressional Leadership Fund wants New York voters to believe Rep. Kathy Hochul’s (D) support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and her opposition to repealing Obamacare amount to “working with President Obama to raise taxes that hurt small businesses.” That isn’t true. In reality, allowing the Bush tax cuts on top earners to expire would reduce deficits without harming the economy or affecting many actual employers, and the Affordable Care Act offers tax credits to millions of small businesses.
Hochul Voted To Extend Middle-Class Tax Cuts, Not To “Raise Taxes That Hurt Small Businesses”
To support the claim that Hochul voted to “raise taxes that hurt small businesses,” the ad cites House Roll Call Vote 545 on August 1, 2012, in which Hochul voted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class.
Hochul Voted To Extend Tax Cuts For The Middle Class. Along with 169 other Democrats, Rep. Hochul voted for H.Amdt.1473 to H.R.8, which “sought to extend for one year certain expired or expiring tax provisions that apply to middle-income taxpayers with income below $250,000 for married couples filing jointly, and below $200,000 for single filers, including, but not limited to, marginal rate reductions, capital gains and dividend rate preferences, alternative minimum tax relief, marriage penalty relief, and expanded tax relief for working families with children and college students.” The amendment was defeated. [H. Amdt. 1473, H.R. 8, Vote #543, 8/1/12]
Those In The Top Bracket Still Benefit From Middle-Income Tax Cuts. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
Furthermore, as Figure 2 shows, under the proposal to allow tax cuts on income above $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers) to expire, taxpayers in the top two brackets would still keep sizeable tax cuts on the first $250,000 of their income ($200,000 for single filers).
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/19/12]
CRS: Allowing Tax Cuts For Only The Rich To Expire Will Reduce Deficits “Without Stifling The Economic Recovery.” According to Reuters: “Letting tax rates for the wealthy rise will not put a short-term damper on the economic recovery, according to a report by the non-partisan research arm of the U.S. Congress. […] Republicans want the cuts continued for all income groups while Democrats favor letting them expire for the most affluent Americans. ‘If the economy is still weak, a temporary extension (of all the rates) will not harm the economy,’ despite adding to the deficit, the CRS report said, citing CRS economist Thomas Hungerford. But allowing the rates to rise just for the wealthy could help ‘reduce budget deficits in the short term without stifling the economic recovery.’” [Reuters, 7/19/12]
Few Top Income Taxpayers Are Actual “Small Businesses”
CBPP: “Only 2.5 Percent Of Small Business Owners Face The Top Two Rates.” According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Allowing the top two marginal tax rates to return to pre-2001 levels as scheduled next year would affect very few small businesses, a recent Treasury Department study found. The study shows that only 2.5 percent of small business owners face the top two rates.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/19/12, internal citations removed]
- Conservatives Rely On Definition Of “Small Business” That Counts President Obama And Mitt Romney. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “The claims that allowing the Bush tax cuts for high-income people to expire would seriously harm small businesses rest on an exceedingly broad, and misleading, definition of ‘small business.’ The definition is so broad, in fact, that under it, both President Obama and Governor Romney would count as small business owners — as would 237 of the nation’s 400 wealthiest people.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/19/12, internal citations removed]
- Conservative Definition Of “Small Businesses” Includes Multi-Billion-Dollar Corporations Like Bechtel And PricewaterhouseCoopers. According to the Center for American Progress: “‘That’s 750,000 small businesses in America, the most productive, the ones that are the most successful, getting hit by a tax increase on top of everything else that’s happened to them in the last 18 months of this administration,’ said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). But McConnell’s number is only accurate if you take an incredibly expansive view of what constitutes a small business. Included in that 750,000 is the Bechtel Corporation, the largest engineering firm in the country. It is the fifth-largest privately owned company in the United States, posting gross revenue in 2008 of $31.4 billion. […] The auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has operations in more than 150 countries, fits the bill as well.” [Center for American Progress, 10/21/10, emphasis added]
- Former Bush Economist Alan Viard: GOP’s Definition Of Small Businesses Is A “Fallacy.” As reported by the Washington Post: “Which is why Republicans continually define pass-through entities of all sizes as small businesses, a position [former Bush White House economist Alan] Viard called a ‘fallacy.’ ‘How can it be that 3 percent of owners are accounting for 50 percent of small business income? Those firms they’re owning can’t be all that small,’ Viard said. ‘And that’s true. They’re very large.’” [Washington Post, 9/17/10]
Joint Committee On Taxation: “3.5 Percent Of All Taxpayers With Net Positive Business Income” Fall Into Top Tax Bracket. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation: The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that in 2013 approximately 940,000 taxpayers with net positive business income (3.5 percent of all taxpayers with net positive business income) will have marginal rates of 36 or 39.6 percent under the president’s proposal, and that 53 percent of the approximately $1.3 trillion of aggregate net positive business income will be reported on returns that have a marginal rate of 36 or 39.6 percent. [Joint Committee On Taxation, 6/18/12]
Affordable Care Act Does Not Raise Taxes On Most Americans – And Includes Tax Credits For Millions
To support the claim that Hochul voted to “raise taxes that hurt small businesses,” the ad cites Roll Call Vote 460 on July 11, 2012, in which Hochul voted against a GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Affordable Care Act “Will Provide More Tax Relief Than Tax Burden” For Middle Class. According to the Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler: “The health law, if it works as the nonpartisan government analysts expect, will provide more tax relief than tax burden for middle-income Americans.” [WashingtonPost.com, 7/6/12]
FactCheck.org: “A Large Majority Of Americans Would Not See Any Direct Tax Increase From The Health Care Law.” According to FactCheck.org: “It’s certainly true that the health care law would raise taxes on some Americans, particularly those with higher incomes. The law includes a Medicare payroll tax of 0.9 percent on income over $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for couples, and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for those earning that much. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the biggest chunk of revenue — $210.2 billion — comes from those taxes. There are other taxes in the health care law — including an excise tax on the manufacturers of certain medical devices and on indoor tanning services. The health care law included $437.8 billion in tax revenue over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation‘s calculations. Republicans tend to add in fees on individuals who don’t obtain health insurance (which the Supreme Court now agrees can be considered taxes) and businesses that don’t provide it to bump that up to about $500 billion. Some taxes, such as those on medical devices, may or may not be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, but a large majority of Americans would not see any direct tax increase from the health care law.” [FactCheck.org, 6/28/12]
- Individual Penalty Payments “Tiny” Compared To President Obama’s Previous Tax Cuts. According to FactCheck.org, the increased revenue from penalty payments by individuals who do not obtain health insurance represents “a tiny future increase compared with the tax cuts Obama has already delivered, including an estimated $120 billion in 2012 alone from the 2 percentage point cut in payroll taxes.” [FactCheck.org, 5/17/12]
Affordable Care Act Includes Tax Credits For Millions Of Americans. According to Families USA: “We found that an estimated 28.6 million Americans will be eligible for the tax credits in 2014, and that the total value of the tax credits that year will be $110.1 billion. The new tax credits will provide much-needed assistance to insured individuals and families who struggle harder each year to pay rising premiums, as well as to uninsured individuals and families who need help purchasing coverage that otherwise would be completely out of reach financially. Most of the families who will be eligible for the tax credits will be employed, many for small businesses, and will have incomes between two and four times poverty (between $44,100 and $88,200 for a family of four based on 2010 poverty guidelines).” [FamiliesUSA.org, September 2010]
Many Small Businesses Are Eligible For Tax Credits Under The Affordable Care Act
Affordable Care Act Offers Tax Credits To Many Small Businesses. According to a report from Small Business Majority and Families USA: “Congress included in the Affordable Care Act a significant new tax credit for small business owners who provide their workers with health insurance. Under this new tax credit, businesses that have fewer than 25 full-time workers and average wages of less than $50,000 are now eligible to receive a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the cost of the health insurance that they provide for their workers. To qualify for the tax credit, small businesses must cover at least 50 percent of each employee’s health insurance premiums. In 2014, the size of the credit will increase to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of health insurance provided to workers.” [SmallBusinessMajority.org, May 2012]
- More Than 3.2 Million Small Businesses Eligible For ACA Tax Credit. According to a report from Small Business Majority and Families USA: “Our analysis found that more than 3.2 million small businesses, employing 19.3 million workers across the nation, will be eligible for this tax credit when they file their 2011 taxes. In total, these small businesses are eligible for more than $15.4 billion in credits for the 2011 tax year alone, an average of $800 per employee.” [SmallBusinessMajority.org, May 2012]
ACA Requires Businesses With More Than 50 Employees To Provide Affordable Coverage Or Pay A Fee. According to a report from Small Business Majority and FamiliesUSA: “While the Affordable Care Act created this new tax credit to help small business owners and workers, it does not force these small business owners to provide coverage for their workers. There are no employer mandates in the law, and there are no employer responsibility requirements at all for businesses with fewer than 50 workers, which account for 96 percent of all firms in the United States. Starting in 2014, businesses with 50 or more workers that do not offer coverage or that offer only unaffordable coverage to their workers will be assessed a fee if one or more of their workers receives a federal individual premium tax credit to purchase coverage in an exchange.” [SmallBusinessMajority.org, May 2012]
[NARRATOR:] In 2011, candidate Kathy Hochul promised to cut taxes on small businesses. [HOCHUL CLIP:] “I will cut taxes on small businesses.” [NARRATOR:] But in Washington, Kathy changed, working with President Obama to raise taxes that hurt small businesses. Now we learn Hochul “heavily invested” in companies that profited from outsourcing, and that Hochul personally profited from companies outsourcing jobs overseas and doing business with China? Kathy Hochul: breaking promises, profiting from outsourcing. Congressional Leadership Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Congressional Leadership Fund via YouTube, 10/19/12]